Keith Reilly from Spa has raised £1150 for the NHS Charities Together running a 30K marathon… and he never even left his home!
Family man Keith, who works as an operations manager on the Montalto Estate close to Ballynahinch, decided to take on the 50 Kilometre marathon marathon challenge while he was on lockdown.
“I enjoy running as a sport and thought it would be nice to get a treadmill at home so I could properly socially isolate. So, it eventually arrived and I did some running on it and enjoyed it. I have run a bit on tread mills before but never a full marathon. That was quite an ordeal to take on.
“I just felt I had to raise some funds for those in the front line working in the NHS and in care homes. So I’ve supported NHS Charities Together.
“With my wife and four children cheering me on, I began at 10am and ran at approximately 4.17 miles an hour. But a marathon was a new experience for me. I’ve done 10,000m a few times.
“During the run I had my water bottle handy, the music was set and You Tube was keeping me alert and focussed. A lot of people are running marathons now for the NHS and other charities. It’s great to see it.
“Many are missing their regular runs hitting the open road for a long jog which would take them more than two miles from their home very quickly.” Keith recognised the need for social distancing and added that we were living in very unprecedented times and just had to adjust to it as best we could.”
He said: “Many people are frustrated by the restrictions because of coronavirus, but at the same time we have to adhere to them. I’ve looked at other elite runners and saw how they got on with the marathon challenge. It helped me mentally prepare for it. When I finished at around 5.45pm, I must say I was exhilarated. It was a great experience.
“I’d certainly encourage other people to do something like this. It is very engaging and satisfying and important for your health to get to that level of fitness.
“I had just completed a half marathon shortly before so this was definitely new territory for me and I knew it would be tough.”
Keith explained it was a break from helping his children with their school work during the lockdown, but added: “I don’t envy other parents stuck at home 24/7 with their youngsters. It can be trying at times but something we just have to grin and bare.
“It was a fairly tough challenge for me on the treadmill,” he grinned. “I made it and it helped that I am healthy and fit, and it was just a pleasure to raise the funds for the nurses and their colleagues on the front line. It was a day well spent!).